It’s now thirty years since I was first diagnosed with progressive multiple sclerosis. Back then, there were no disease-
I had recently become a mother, and I was determined that, as my daughter grew up, she would not be forced into the position of becoming a young carer. Doing nothing was not an option. In any case, I firmly believed that doctors don’t know everything. So I went to our small local library and rooted around. There was only one book I could find on the subject: Judy Graham’s Multiple Sclerosis: a Self-
Changing my diet appealed to me because not only was I a keen cook, but my mother who suffered from severe IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) had damped down many of her symptoms by cutting out all those foods which made her feel worse, and replacing them with healthy alternatives. Maybe I could do something similar? In any case, as a Coeliac, I was already on a gluten-
By 1993, by combining a healthy, low-
I was extremely lucky to come across the right advice just when I needed it most. Since then, however, many doctors have continued to dismiss the idea that nutritional therapy can help people with MS. There are two reasons for this, Firstly, doctors receive virtually no information in nutrition during their medical training. Secondly, up until now, scientific evidence about the beneficial effects of nutritional therapy has been thin on the ground. Thankfully, that is about to change. From 2020, medical students in the UK will receive at least a basic grounding in nutrition. There is also a lot of research being carried out now into how diet affects our general health, and into the effects of nutrients such as Vitamin D on MS. There are also influential doctors who themselves have MS, who are now endorsing the dietary approach. This, together with the new drug treatments and therapies for MS which are being trialled at the moment, means that people with MS can begin to be cautiously optimistic about the future.
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